Vegan Banana Cake

This is the best vegan banana cake recipe I’ve ever had. It’s soft, tender, and full of rich banana flavor in every bite. Serve this sweet cake without frosting or add the most amazing vegan cream cheese frosting ever.

For more banana desserts, be sure to try this Vegan Banana Bread or this Chocolate Banana Brownies.

A slice of frosted vegan banana cake on a plate. In the background is more frosting and bananas.

I have always loved banana cakes. There’s something about that moist cake with the tangy cream cheese frosting that gets me every time. It’s one of those recipes that everyone talks about at a potluck. I knew I wanted to make my banana cake vegan. It also had to be easy. Because easy + delicious are my favorite ingredients.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Mashed bananas make a moist, dense cake that is perfectly flavored
  • Vinegar interacts with the flour and the baking soda to add a soft, tender texture
  • Adding sweet and tangy vegan cream cheese frosting makes this the best cake ever

Ingredient Spotlight

A bunch of 3 very ripe bananas sit on a white counter.

What Bananas are Best?

Look for bananas that are yellow with some or several brown spots. What you don’t want are bananas where the stem doesn’t break off easily, or it’s hard to peel. That’s an indication the bananas are too starchy.

If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, peel and slice them, and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for up to 1 minute until the bananas are tender. Set them aside to cool to room temperature before mashing them.

Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • All-purpose flour — You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour (this is different than whole wheat flour) or a quality gluten-free baking flour
  • Baking soda + baking powder — Using these two together creates a high, lofty cake with a soft crumb
  • Salt — A bit of salt adds depth of flavor. Use table salt or sea salt
  • Spices — We’ll be using ground ginger and ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil — You can substitute melted coconut oil for vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar — You can substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar
  • Bananas — you’ll need 3 ripe bananas
  • Plant-based milk — Use your favorite vanilla or plain plant-based milk
  • Vanilla extract — This is an optional ingredient, but I like adding a bit of vanilla extract
  • Vinegar — I prefer apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works, too

How to Make Vegan Banana Cake

Wondering how to make a vegan banana cake? Well, I like to think of it as a vegan yellow cake recipe with spices and bananas thrown into the mix. It’s pretty simple to make, but the flavors and textures will help you understand why it’s my favorite cake.

So, let’s get started on this banana cake from scratch.

  1. Stir together dry ingredients from the flour to the ground cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Combine wet ingredients from the vegetable oil to the vinegar, in a food processor bowl. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Make the batter by stirring the banana mixture with the flour ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan and bake it for 38 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

Banana Cake Frosting

Thanks to the ripe bananas, this vegan banana cake is sweet enough to serve on its own, or with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. However, there’s nothing like creamy frosting. Here are some great options:

Of course, my favorite is tangy vegan cream cheese frosting.

A spoon full of vegan cream cheese frosting is positioned over banana cake.

Baking Options

  • Banana cake bread — bake it in a loaf pan and cook it for 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Banana cake cupcakes — distribute the cake batter into muffin pan compartments (either use papers or spray with vegetable cooking spray) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Make banana cake sheet cake — Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for around 40 minutes.
  • Banana Layer Cake — Pour the batter into 2 prepared round cake pans and bake for 38 to 32 minutes. Let the cakes cool and frost.

Marly’s Tips

  • Add some chopped nuts on top for decoration and flavor. There’s nothing as tasty as a banana nut cake!
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon zest to make a lemon banana cake.
  • To measure flour, sift the flour in its container. Then spoon flour into a measuring cup and use a knife to level it off.
  • Add a few sprinkles and candles and serve this as a vegan birthday cake.

Best Vegan Banana Recipes

Do you love recipes with bananas? Here are some favorite vegan banana recipes:

A slice of Vegan Banana Cake sits on a plate in front of bananas.

I think this is the best vegan banana cake recipe. Enjoy!

A slice of frosted vegan banana cake on a plate. In the background is more frosting and bananas.

Vegan Banana Cake

Take a slice of this Vegan Banana Cake (or two), spiced with ginger and cinnamon and topped with a creamy vegan cream cheese frosting.
5 from 13 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 285kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large bananas ripe, peeled & sliced
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • vegan cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  • In a food processor, add the oil, sugar, bananas, plant-based milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and pulse until smooth.
  • Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 38 to 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Use a tester inserted in the center to come out clean to confirm it's done.
  • Set aside the cake to cool.
  • You can serve this cake without frosting or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Or you can serve it with vegan cream cheese frosting. Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely before adding any frosting.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, top it with the frosting.

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Notes

I sometimes will use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe. You can do the whole 3 cups as whole wheat pastry flour for a more dense cake, or mix it half and half (half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat pastry flour).
Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2011 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

33 Responses to Vegan Banana Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCourtney R Reply

    5 stars
    This cake is really great! I had some bananas nearly overripe and this was perfect. I used a bit less sugar and we skipped the frosting. Thanks so much, I will be making this again!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Courtney! I’m so glad you liked it. We are two peas in a pod because it’s one of my favorites too!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBolo Reply

    5 stars
    Delicious cake, very moist. Every one here liked

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Bolo! I’m so glad that you and everyone with you liked this banana cake recipe! It’s a favorite of ours too!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChristina Reply

    5 stars
    Does this cake freeze well?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Christina! Yes, this banana cake freezes well. I usually cut it into slices and then place those slices on a tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once the slices are frozen, I transfer it to a freezer bag. If you have room in your freezer (I never do), you could freeze the entire cake!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChristina

      5 stars
      This cake is absolutely delicious. I made it today. So moist

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